The Spam Folder

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I take my job seriously because people depend on it. I protect the email. I protect the user. I even protect information. I am the Spam Folder.

Every day I catch stray spam, trying to weasel its way into the computer. Save 20% off your next purchase when you try SalonPro Scalp Control! It stands at the edge of my decision, pleading its case as if it was something new.

“The scalps of innocent people may flake off entirely if they don’t take precaution now!” I’ve seen it all.

Filled almost to the brim, I have become invisible. Please, just empty the spam, I pray to the user every evening before rush hour. I don’t know how much more I can take before completely slowing down.

Happy Dating Love Available For Destiny!!!!

I capture it, wrestling with the idea of actual destiny. Maybe there is something to the email. Maybe even if it is junk mail, the opportunity for love will conquer. I think of my user, tapping on the keys for hours at a time. Even at night the laptop is on. If real love existed, the power of online wouldn’t consume so much.

Real, live, girls looking for marriage! Good food! Happy home! Happy heart!

No, this is not beneficial. I pluck the email from an undecided cloud and bury it behind Mattress Discount Blowout!! Act Now And Receive Clean Sheets!!!

I have room for only one more email. The account is slow and I feel as if I am swimming through a public streaming of the Academy Awards.

Are you addicted to the internet?

It comes at me during a suspicious time: the small hours. Once 3AM hits, foreign spammers swarm with offers of everything from anti-aging miracles to fashion modeling careers. This goes against the script.

Do you spend more than 4 hours a day online?

I know for a fact that social media takes up at least a few hours of time per day. Once down the search engine rabbit hole, the spam accumulates to maximum capacity.

Do you feel less comfortable than you used to when socializing face to face?

This service, whatever it is, could truly benefit those from a certain generation.

Call now to set up your initial consultation at 1-900-293-2726. Please disclose your name, email address, cell number, and any social media account profiles that are active and we will get back to you within 2 business days.

The need for information seems inappropriate. Social media accounts are of no use to anyone except marketers. But perhaps this company will ultimately help detangle the addiction of online exposure. Not to mention, the email account could truly be destroyed if information isn’t handled properly. By letting the advertisement through, I could be preventing much larger problems in the future.

Do the right thing for real connections.

The email address contains a name. John McCall. There is a business account attached to the address. It’s probably a registered company. It’s probably legit.

_______________________

 

 

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The Answering Machine

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“Hey, you got me, but you didn’t really get me. Leave a message at the beep.”

You can get back home through the telephone wires. From city to suburb, follow the skinny black lines until your voice is my voice and our voice is here.

 

“Hey, you got me, but you didn’t really get me. Leave a message at the beep.”

Pick up. Where do you live now? Do you like your job? Who are you with?

Every now and again, your machine is full. Too many voices trying to get in. They push and they shove, but they stand just to wait.

I know, you’ll call me when you can.

 

“Hey, you got me, but you didn’t really get me. Leave a message at the beep.”

Do power lines still map the way if only cell phones are used? Invisible pathways going in a million different directions scatter the world apart.

Misplaced conversations. Lost words looking for a sentence.

Face focused on the front of the phone.

 

“This number is no longer in service.”

 

 

 

 

Redesigning Voice Mail :  The UX of the Missed Call

The Computer

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There was a time when all I wanted was to be a computer.

Sleek, sturdy, practical and magnetic – it has the healthy build of importance locked in at the right angle. I wanted to be as flexible as a portable screen. Flashing bright smiles at everyone, I would be radiant. When someone asked ‘where do you want to go today’ I would say ‘anywhere’ and mean it.

I wanted to be a computer so that I could be stared at. All day with hazy eyes, so hooked that they can’t turn away. There’s an addictive quality to something so shiny. It glistens with the intimate knowledge of every thought etched onto its life line. Calm to the touch, it’s always collected.

I wanted to be a computer so I could interact with people, but then I realized that I don’t have to. Just because I’m a mouse, doesn’t mean I’m invisible.

The Digital Age

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Photograph by Brett O’Connor

I used to wonder whether I felt anything at all. But how can I be wondering if I have no feelings? The transparent blueness of my very self seems tinged with an overly emotional spark. If I were painted black, I’d be dark, but that’s not the case. Instead I’m transparent – you can see right through me.  Wires rush in and out, carrying bits of information that I spit out into bigger forms of communication. 

On. Off. I am blue. You are green. Yes. No. Ready – go. 

I used to wonder whether what I said had meaning, but who needs meaning when you have information?